How Do GPS Pet Trackers Work (Australia-wide Coverage)

Ready to track the fun? Whether you're a tracker newbie or expert, we're spilling the beans on pet trackers.


As someone who cares for a canine companion, it's natural to desire moments when your furry friend can explore off-leash during specific endeavors. Despite having a well-trained dog, the potential for her to wander off or become lost remains a reality. This holds particularly true for hunting dogs, where the risk of losing their whereabouts can lead to dire outcomes. Thankfully, contemporary advancements empower us to monitor our cherished companion using GPS tracking technology. But, have you ever wondered about the inner workings of GPS dog trackers?

Whether you're contemplating acquiring a pet tracker for your dog or have already equipped your furry friend with one, you might find yourself seeking answers regarding the functionality of such devices. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how a pet tracker operates, addressing any queries you may have.

The Difference Between Trackers (GPS vs Radio Location)

Prior to delving into the functioning of GPS pet trackers, it's crucial to grasp the distinction between GPS trackers and radio frequency animal trackers. The GPS tracker for dogs (Australia) relies on the local cellular network to facilitate dog tracking. This approach offers the benefit of utilizing software that provides an exact real-time location of your dog on your mobile device's map (compatible with iOS and Android). As a result, you're spared the need to search extensively for your pet.

Common Misconception! Are Microchips GPS Trackers?

There is a common misconception that pet trackers and microchips are synonymous, but this is not accurate. While a microchip stores data such as the owner's home address and other essential information, it's important to note that a microchip does not serve the purpose of actively tracking your pet.


DogOn™ GPS Pet Tracker (3G Cellular)

The DogOn tracker for pets is probably the best all-in-one GPS location and activity tracker that you can get in Australia. The tracker is small and compact. The battery lasts for 4-5 days and fully charges in just under an hour. However, like with many GPS dog trackers, there are some drawbacks. All 3G/4G cellular trackers often require a monthly service charge due to the usage of a cellular network. Likewise, a major drawback is that they rely on a cellular network being available, meaning that GPS units won't work in areas that don't receive a signal. While GPS trackers for pets are still useful, and can help find a lost pet in a neighborhood or at the beach, they may not be practical for rural areas with limited cellphone coverage.


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  • Long battery life - the battery lasts around 4 days and the notification on the app when the battery needs charging is excellent. You also get a notification when charging is complete.
  • The tracker attaches very securely to my Maya's martingale collar and doesn’t come loose at all. I would be extremely confident it would not come off her collar.
  • The activity monitor allows us to see how well Maya is sleeping at night or when we are out. Maya is quite an anxious dog so it’s nice to be able to see that she is relaxed and sleeping.
  • The monthly subscription cost is very reasonable and can be paid monthly or yearly (for a discount).
  • The virtual fence gives us complete peace of mind knowing that if Maya did get out we would be notified straight away.


  • Needs a Monthly Subscription - However, the cost is very reasonable and can be paid monthly or yearly (for a discount).

How does the DogOn™ GPS Tracking Collar Works?

In terms of how GPS tracking collars work, they typically tend to rely on a proprietary app accessed via your smartphone and Google maps. Most devices will notify the user via text or email with alerts such as when the pet leaves a defined safe zone or when the battery is low. Another nice feature that this tracker has, is that it allows you to contact a help or recovery center that can aid you in locating your lost dog. The actual pet tracking device is typically small and fits right on the collar. Different sizes are made for different breeds for more accurate health tracking and a better fit.


Garmin™ Pet Tracker (Radio Frequency)

The other type of dog tracker is a radio frequency-based model. These models don't provide a map, but they tend to be more accurate and work anywhere without needing a network. While DogOn's GPS tracker for dogs uses a map to display the dog's location, the Garmin Astro radio frequency collar can help you locate your pet even when it's hidden in brush due to its location-based nature. However, a significant drawback of this radio device is that certain GPS units (such as the DogOn™ tracker for pets) come with health tracking features that monitor heart rate and other health-related statistics for your dog. This ensures that you not only know your pet's whereabouts but also that it's in good health.


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Other Recommended Trackers (Some not available in Australia)


Now that we understand how a GPS pet tracker operates and are aware of the various types and features available, the question arises: which one is suitable for you? The optimal scenario entails owning both a GPS and a radio frequency model, allowing you to utilize them as required. However, if you're an individual who doesn't engage in activities like hunting, hiking, or frequent outdoor pursuits, a radio frequency tracker might not offer substantial assistance. Ultimately, the choice hinges on your lifestyle and your dog's specific needs.

Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats